Saturday Times 26616 (7th Jan) – the Importance of Knowing One’s Wilde and Doyle

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
Sorry it’s late today, nearly done by 9am but then an emergency Skype from work meant I had to drop everything and attend to that (especially as it was indirectly my fault last night!). Back to it now, so the post should be following shortly…and here it is.

Quite a gentle one for a Saturday. I still had quite a big backlog in the pile from the holiday period, and only got round to this on Thursday evening, solved in a leisurely 12:18. Some clever clues – 2ac was very good, 9ac required a penny-drop moment when I remembered that Holmes is usually referred to in the books as a “consulting detective”, and 6dn was brilliant when I understood it. LOI was 26dn, obvious in retrospect but it’s easy to be put off by such an unhelpful set of checked letters.

1 Wild parties interrupted by a problem for host (8)
PARASITE – (parties)* around A.
5 It’s not about you, in French dialect (6)
PATOIS – PAS (not) around TOI (you), all in French, as is the solution.
9 Record of work doctor compiled for consultant (8)
CASEBOOK – cryptic definition, the doctor being Watson, the consultant Holmes. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes was the last published set of stories by Conan Doyle.
10 Scouts look for this article left in part of camp (6)
TALENT – A (article) + L(eft) inside TENT (part of camp).
12 Steadily proceed to make money illegally (5)
FORGE – double definition…
13 Required to keep out of trouble, that’s clear (5,4)
BOUND OVER – … and another.
14 Young women whose hips arouse sports fans? (12)
CHEERLEADERS – cryptic definition. Do people still shout “hip, hip, hurrah”?
18 Turn attack on king and queen that reveals character flaws (12)
SPELLCHECKER – SPELL (turn) + CHECK (attack on king) + ER (queen).
21 Vegetable that’s all right in acre hit disastrously (9)
ARTICHOKE – OK (all right) inside (acre hit)*.
23 Capital at one time husband invested in food store (5)
DELHI – H(usband) inside DELI (food store). It became New Delhi in 1927.
24 Opening of a sort, in part of Africa — time for a change, finally (6)
GAMBIT – GAMBIA (part of Africa) with the A at the end changed to a T (time for a change, finally).
25 A temperature checked and confirmed in trial (8)
ATTESTED – A + T(emperature) + TESTED (checked).
26 Decisively raised a bit of money before game (6)
TOSSED – cryptic definition.
27 Cancel ceremony, we hear, not taking place (5,3)
WRITE OFF – sounds like “rite off”.

1 Stop fighting if surrounded by fleet (6)
PACIFY – IF inside PACY (fleet).
2 Platforms in section of ramparts originally set up (6)
ROSTRA – hidden reversed in “ramparts originally”.
3 Bullet has done damage, less than fatal (9)
SUBLETHAL – (bullet has)*.
4 Find what’s wrong with foreign money — get out time after time (12)
TROUBLESHOOT – ROUBLE (foreign money) + SHOO (get out) + T(ime), all after T(ime). What I was doing instead earlier of finishing this off!
6 As Cecily Cardew was for Oscar, say (5)
AWARD – A WARD. Cecily was the ward of the eponymous E(a)rnest in the Oscar Wilde play. Clever clue, most of it over my head until I looked her up.
7 Series of deliveries that is taken in car, in summary (8)
OVERVIEW – OVER (series of deliveries) + IE (that is) inside VW (car).
8 Author poking fun at flower-girl in street (8)
SATIRIST – AT + IRIS (flower-girl), inside ST(reet).
11 Change to club’s price that could be the government’s business (6,6)
PUBLIC SECTOR – (to club’s price)*.
15 Revision in note people twice produced on time (9)
AMENDMENT – A, MEN (note, people) + D, MEN (note, people again) + T(ime).
16 Something French like to eat — not fast food (8)
ESCARGOT – cryptic definition, or more like straight definition with some cryptic reinforcement.
17 Occasions for retirement in base daily (8)
BEDTIMES – BED (base) + TIMES (daily).
19 Fate or destiny hard to see in firm (6)
CLOTHO – LOT (destiny) + H(ard), inside CO (firm). One of the three Moirai or Fates in Greek mythology. The other two are Lachesis and Atropos.
20 To some extent, relatives manage fine (4,2)
KIND OF – KIN (relatives) + DO (manage) + F(ine).
22 Food that’s hot or cold, we hear, in this country (5)
CHILE – sounds like CHILLI (food that’s hot) or CHILLY (cold).

11 comments on “Saturday Times 26616 (7th Jan) – the Importance of Knowing One’s Wilde and Doyle”

  1. The TLS crosswords are not only much better than they used to be, they are also becoming contagious! (9ac, 6dn ,19dn)

    I am in the camp that says brilliant, bring it on – I’ve no time for those who seem to enjoy claiming ignorance. If we don’t know it this time, we must just make sure we do the next..!

    Edited at 2017-01-14 04:03 pm (UTC)

    1. I agree with you 100% Jerry, but I didn’t see any such adverse comments about TLS-like clues on the Forum, so not sure where the mini-rant’s coming from! Most liked 9ac, and I don’t think 6dn or 19dn were even mentioned.
  2. Enjoyable enough at exactly an hour. The answer at 9ac was obvious but I suspected I was missing something as to what was going on and doubt whether I’d ever have come up with the explanation if I’d been on blogging duty, even with use of aids. 6dn is in a different league because the literary reference is so specific, and if one didn’t happen to know it a quick Google on the name would have explained all, but fortunately I didn’t need to. I don’t do the TLS puzzle, but am I right in assuming, as with the Mephisto, that it’s expected that the average solver will need to look things up along the way, if only to verify some of the answers already arrived at?

    Edited at 2017-01-14 06:04 pm (UTC)

    1. As to looking things up Jack – it varies from week to week and depends on whether the clues happen to come within my ken. Judging from the times they post I imagine Jason and Dave Howell do very little googling. We had a run of 2 or 3 puzzles at the end of last year where I think most of the regulars could finish unaided. I had to google yesterday and it doesn’t seem to have helped me because I have one wrong and that looks like “it”.

      22D: An Aussie’s writer’s detailed mind. (4)
      I had *A*E which wasn’t much help and Oz writers aren’t my strong suit.

      Since you’re here, may I ask you about the “read more” thingy? I attempted to do it when I posted my TLS blog on Thursday night and nothing happened. I followed the instructions you gave in the comments on puzzle 26606 but I must have omitted a crucial step because nothing happened. What did i miss do you think?

      1. Thanks for your comments re the TLS, Olivia. I did try one once, maybe a year ago, and managed to complete it but I had to look so much up I didn’t feel I had achieved much.

        On “Read more”, these are the stages.

        1) In LJ visual editor, select all the text to be hidden

        2) Click the little “hamburger / insert cut” icon and a “Cut/Read more” dialogue box appears.

        3) Click the “Insert” button to put dotted lines with scissors above and below the selected text.

        4) Post or schedule as usual

        N.B. Having done that, “Read more…” doesn’t appear when you preview the blog, which is a bit confusing, but after the actual posting it comes to life whenever you open TftT from “scratch”.

        Once you’ve clicked past “Read more” you won’t be given the option again until the next time you open TftT from “scratch”.

        If you’re scheduling and want to check in advance that it has worked you need to go into “Edit entry” or”Edit scheduled entry” where you will see the scissor lines but not the actual “Read more” message. “View entry” or “View scheduled entry” will not show the scissor lines or “Read more”.

        Hope this helps.

        Edited at 2017-01-14 10:06 pm (UTC)

        1. It was the insert button I missed (I think)! Thanks much Jack – what would we all do without you…
  3. 10m. Straightforward stuff. I’ve no problem with literary references, or any level of obscurity, as long as the clue is solvable using the cryptic, which was the case here. That’s the point of these things, after all: they’re not supposed to be pure general knowledge tests.

    Edited at 2017-01-14 08:01 pm (UTC)

  4. A rare victory as I managed to complete this without aids on Saturday. A first possibly. I very much liked 5a.I thought of Dr Finlay’s casebook at 9a; I don’t suppose it matters which doctor comes to mind. I had never heard of Clotho but felt it could only be that. And “The Importance …” is one of my favourite plays; that helped. David
  5. No time to post, as I did this with a couple of friends during the course of a rather lazy hung-over day. I did find it very enjoyable, though. I’m glad it wasn’t replete with the kind of oddities that are hard to explain to near-novices, like “it” meaning “SA”, and so forth… COD 9a, as I’m a Sherlock Holmes fan.
  6. At first I thought I’d entered the wrong section and got the TLS blog. I rarely attempt it as it is a bit time consuming. Yesterday I had a bash at the Club Monthly – what a ride!

    As for the Saturday 26,616 it was much of a muchness – all over in 58 minutes.

    9ac CASEBOOK I only got as far as Dr.Finlay and Janet!

    COD 5ac PATOIS WOD GAMBIA where things are non too happy.

    Edited at 2017-01-15 02:06 am (UTC)

  7. I think ‘fate’=Clotho is now a bit of a chestnut,it was a write-in for me.Escargot also too obvious to experienced solvers.Ong’ara,Kenya.

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